The immune system is our shield, thanks to chemical reactions and biological processes it has the task of protecting us from any aggression, which can occur in the form of viruses, bacteria, parasites but also tumors, as emerged from recent scientific researches that are studying the connection between the immune system and cancer cells (Corthay et al, Front Immunol, May 2014 - Palmer et al, PNAS, Feb 2018). It is therefore important to take care of our defenses, whatever the season! Fortunately, on our side there are several natural remedies, let's see them.
Probiotics are live and beneficial bacteria for our body that, once ingested, get active in the intestine, by improving its functionality. But an intestinal bacterial flora, which scientists call microbiota, in good health has also proven to be able to strengthen the immune system, in young and older people (Haddad et al, Evid Based Complement Alterant Med, Dec 2005). And the effects are not only reported at the level of intestinal mucosa, but the whole body benefits from probiotics. In fact, according to scientific studies, the intake of probiotic drinks for 3 months also acts to protect the respiratory tract, preventing colds and flu (Zhang et al, Synth Syst Biotechnol, Jun 2018).
Green tea contains powerful antioxidants such as epigallocatechin gallate and flavonoids. These substances support the immune system. In particular, scientific studies have observed that epigallocatechin increases the number of T cells, which are white blood cells that participate in the body's defenses against infections but also counteract autoimmune diseases (Wong et al, Immunology Letters, Sep 2011). Not only that, the substances contained in green tea help fight chronic inflammation and play a role in preventing cancer by blocking its nourishment and therefore its growth (Haddad et al, Evid Based Complement Alterant Med, Dec 2005 - Sharm aet al, Biogerontology , Jun 2017).
Even sleep strengthens the immune system. In fact, the effect of sleep (Dimitrov et al, JEM, Mar 2019) is to improve the functioning of T cells, a type of white blood cell responsible for counteracting viral infections. Instead, a disturbed and less restful sleep releases stress hormones in the body that counteract the activity of these cells of the immune system.